I'm curious about how you like the ride? Do you have the rear travel set at 4", 5" or 6" of travel? You're running the Psylo are you not? That's 5" correct? I'm considering buying a 2000 (the Red one w/the Super T), or a Frame only and building it up. For most of the riding I would do, 4" or 5" is plenty. Usually probably only 4".
To be honest I never actually noticed what it's set to. I know the rear shock anchor is on the middle one, so I suppose that would be 5" setup?
I also read that the stock issue 2000 does not offer an upgrade over the 1000 that's proportional to the price difference. I'm quite happy with the Psylo, but I find it hard trying to find out if changes to compression and rebound are worth playing with. Most of my riding will be smoother trail oriented. I have the front/rear sag sorted out, but there's not much I can do about the sag in the middle, the one I carry around with me!
This to me makes a bit more sense from a Corporate standpoint. C'Dale Frame and Fork. Why have your pros riding someone else's product (a.k.a. Manitou Dorado's). Obviously the Lefty is only 4" and doesn't compare to a DH specific fork, but for the now defunct dual slalom and the 4x I think it's a better match to help bolster sales.
I agree with the marketing point you mention. I think it would be quite degrading to your own product range to use other than what you produce. I'd always wondered why Cannondale never offered the Lefty as standard issue on the Gemini when it is almost standard on most Jekylls which are cheaper anyway. I think the Lefty has a big 'cool' factor but when viewed through rose-tinted specs what else would I see?
I see where you are coming from with switchable forks depending on ride style and trail objective. The Lefty would have been ideal in my case. I certainly won't (unless by accident) be aiming for big hits so 4" is not something I'd need to change from.
My first impressions of the Gemini, well I hope this is not off thread, but I really do like it. There are the usual squeaks and groans of metal running in, but so far it has been a flawless bike. I find the handling really positive. Those disc brakes are simply amazing. Gear changing is positive, but I find the jump from the 32 to 44 ring needs a fair bit of force on the lever to shift it up properly. Rear cog changes either way are flawless. The high bb (14" above the ground) means I have to raise the seat post much higher than I'd like to maintain (to me) optimum leg stroke and angle. That puts my c.o.g off a bit and it took a little adjusting to.
It came with the Shimano PD-M545 pedals and I hate them. I don't trust them, and removed the cleats from my shoes as no way is the clip in/out as positive or reliable as the old clips I had on my road bike - wish I'd kept them. The M545 is a combined clipless/flattie and it fails in both respects. Just my opinion. I'll keep them for a while until I'm fully comfortable on the bike at which time I'll use the Eggbeaters I bought a couple of weeks back.
The handlebars are fairly flat but the ride position is ok for me. The rear shock lock-out lever mounted on the bars is a bit silly. It swings through 180 degrees though it needs only 90 degrees to do the lock out, and for some reason, the lock out does not always engage until long after you no longer need it. In other words, I might dump the lock out lever later and put on the little blue level directly onto the shock.
I've only used the bike on well graded trails that are mostly gravel or packed earth, but on the one occasion I had to go over and down some ruts, never once did the frame suggest it was going to step off line. Another occasion I found myself descending down a slope much faster than I thought. I panicked and thought of going for the brakes but a bell in my head sounded and said, "Leave them, leave them, ride it through!" I did ride it through and the bike came through it without a twitch and again, behaved superbly. When I did come out of the slope I was suprised by a tight-ish curve and the back of my wife's bike coming into view. I had to go for the brakes then, but the response was good, and the speed scrubbed off rapidly and I did a rear wheel skid at the end of it. I'm 48 years old, darn it. Should I be behaving like I'm a 16yr old again? Answer: yes
It was all quite exhilarating and the best fun I have had in a long time. I think the Gemini is one fine bike. It is specc'ed in line with the best of other makes, and the way the bike presents itself is something that makes it a really nice thing to look at - almost like you'd want to hang it on a wall. Already, I'm looking at maybe upgrading to XTR 2003, and a Lefty!
I like the black Gemini more, but I also like the 2000s red/white paint job as well. I think those who are brand loyal will see no fault in the Gemini and those who are not will wonder if it's worth the price we pay for it. Right now, from where I sit (not on the bike, alas) I see an intrinsic value in the bike that paint jobs, metal, and components cannot define on their own. From the first test ride, I knew this was the bike for me. Others would have done, but none would have sufficed. There is a quality in the Gemini that goes beyond its sum of the parts. Look at the frame alone, the polished welds where each tube flows into the other, give the impression of a complete frame, not one where each part is visible by its welding line. That does not make it any more robust, but again, the quality goes beyond the parts. I'm enjoying and looking now to new routes, more challenging, but after years on road bikes, I am enjoying this mtb game. I'm just kind of happy the Gemini 1000 is there to be part of it.
Does any of this mean I'm degrading other bikes? Not one bit. We each of us see things differently and I know and have read and have been told that there are other bikes out there that do a better job than the Gemini, are better specc'ed than the Gemini and other things that are different to the Gemini. What I do think, is that the Gemini does a good job at everything, and that's one good reason to get one, but then again, that's true for all good bikes, isn't it?